The final fourth day of this 72 holes ,41st Pakistan Open Golf Championship produced a run away victory for Shabbir Iqbal of Islamabad Golf Club,at the admirable and flawless DHA Golf and Country Club Golf Course,on Sunday.
Shabbir’s three previous rounds personified consistency with scores of 69,70 and 71 and on the final day he kept up the pressure with controlled play producing a final days round of 72 resulting in a three stroke winning aggregate of 282,six under par.
The nearest challenger,Matloob Ahmed of Garrison Club,Lahore,did play some brave shots in the final go, and for a few brief spells the element of a close duel did raise its head sparking some exciting flashes ,but in the end the moment of glory was certainly not destined to tilt his way and he had to be content with the runners up slot and though this is no mean achievement,Matloob was rather distraugt.Others who ended up behind them were Mohammed Munir(Islamabad) and Afsar Ali(Star Com) joint third.
As for Shabbir the victory brings ample honors and money,but what needs to be emphasized here is that in all four rounds of this competition there was no doubting the thoroughness of shabbir’s approach.”He has shown remarkable ability to avoid error’,said Brig Hassan Rafi of DHA Golf Club,”and somehow in his quest to that end,noticeable is his temperament which duly complies when victories are required”.And Shabbir stated,”to win constantly,not only must luck be present,but shot making has to reach a pitch of perfection”.I
n his moment of glory,as he got off the green,Taimur Hassan,Honorary Secretary of Pakistan Golf Federation and a legendary champion himself,stepped up,embraced him and complimented him for winning the nationl open title a fourth time.Taimur hoped that Shabbir will take along and serve as a role model for the amateur turned professional golfers like Aadil Jehangir,Daaniyaal Jehangir and Hamza Amin.
The top positions in Professionals section:Shabbir Iqbal(Islamabad)69+70+71+72=282;Matloob Ahmed(Garrison,Lahore)71+72+71+71=285;Afsar Ali(Star Com)73+73+72+73=291;Mohammed Munir(Islamabad)70+71+77+73=291;Javed Inayat(HBL)79+68+71+75=293;Shafiq Masih(Gymkhana)73+75+76+70=294;Anser Mehmood(Islamabad)72+78+74+73=297;Waheed Baloch(Karachi Golf Club)75+76+73+73=297;Adil Jehangir(Gymkhana)76+72+68+82=298;Hamza Amin(Islamabad)79+68+75+76=298.
Cash prizes were awarded to the top 40 professionals.The amteur section winner was Ali Hai of Karachi Golf Club who emerged as the best amateur beating the seasoned Waseem Rana of DHA Golf Club by a stroke.Ali Hai had a four days aggregate of 306 as against Waseem Rana’s 307,followed by Anser Mehmood(Karachi)311,Robin Bagh(Sargodah)314,Mohammed Rehman(Royal Palm)317,Taimur Hassan Amin(Islamabad)318,Saajid Khan(ASCC)318 and Ghazanfar Mehmood(Rawalpindi)320.
The senior professionals showed their mettle and after two competitive rounds Asgher Ali(Punjab Police)captured the top positon in this category with rounds of 72 and 77 and an aggregate of 149,seven strokes better than the runners up Ghani Khan of Karachi Golf Club.Mohammed Shafiq of Railways came third with a score of 157,followed by Akbar ali(Gymkhana)157,and Ghulam Nabi(Gymkhana)158.At the conclusion of this national event,the prizes were awarded by Lt Gen Zaheer ul Islam,Corps Commander,Karachi.Also present on this occasion was A.Karim Dhedi,President AKD Group,sponsors of this championship.